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Policies And Procedures Can Save You Money, Time And Possibly Expensive Claims

Oct 11, 2007
The idea of a shelf full of dreary policies and procedures that tie everyone down in unnecessary bureaucracy does not usually sound too appealing. It doesn't have to be like that. Splitting the task into two will help work out what you need.

First, there are practices that are legislated for and it is necessary to be aware of these and ensure all your people follow them. They normally relate to the provision of a safe and fair workplace and every employer has an obligation to take reasonable steps to provide this. These reasonable steps may include having policies and practices in place.

Then there are the policies that provide guidelines for your people on how to manage to reinforce the culture of your organization and attract, retain and develop your people. These can save a lot of time spent in making decisions, dealing with ad hoc issues and ensure that you use a consistent approach across the organization.

The policies to support the employment legislation should include Equal Employment Opportunity, Discrimination and Harassment, Bullying and OH & S along with the various types of leave and pay entitlements. Having these in a format that can be interpreted easily by your managers and staff will save them from having to access the legislation directly or breach it inadvertently.

Regularly communicating the key aspects of these policies to employees will lessen the chances of people breaking the law and, if they do, will provide you with a reasonable defence which could save you many thousands of dollars.

The other policies which can provide consistent guidelines for managers also give you an opportunity to promote a positive and professional image of your organization. Rather than rely on individual managers to workout out how to recruit, develop people, pay them, manage performance and determine what appropriate professional behaviour is, clear guidelines should be available for all.

Rather than try to distribute these policies in hard copy it is relatively easy these days to have them on an Intranet or at least in a shared folder on your server.

A summarised version of these can also be used in an employee handbook to establish understanding for all employees at the beginning of their service and help reinforce their decision to join your organization.

By having appropriate and effective HR policies and procedures in place, continually revising and communicating them, you free up time and resources to focus on delivering business results.
About the Author
Paul Phillips is a Director of Horizon Management Group; a specialist human resource management consulting firm. He has over 30 years experience in HR and, while based in Australia, has worked in a number of overseas locations. www.horizonmg.com
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